Review - Charli XCX - Sucker
Singer-songwriter Charli XCX seems to want you to know several things about her, and know them well: she’s British, she knows how to have a good time, and she’s not worried about staying within the bounds of what a pop singer “should do”.
Sucker is Charli’s second major label album, and it shows quite a bit of growth from her last effort, 2012’s Heartbreaks and Earthquakes. Since then, Charli has had quite a bit of success, almost all of which is thanks to joining onto some projects that blew up internationally. By now, you should really know her voice, even if you’ve never heard one of her own tracks. She sings the chorus/hook on both Icona Pop’s “I Love It”, as well as Iggy Azalea’s breakthrough smash “Fancy”.
Her latest album is a mix of youthful pop sensibilities--note her songwriting and that she chooses to write mostly about being famous and breaking the rules instead of going to school--and highly dated punk sounds. While she still maintains some of the gloomy “goth pop” for which she was known on her own, she has now incorporated the fuzz and distortion so loved by the true pioneers of punk rock.
While the composition of the songs and her influences are pretty cool to listen for, Sucker isn’t everything I wanted to hear from a singer I hoped would stick around for a while. In my opinion, there are no real big hits here, at least not for the mainstream, and counting out “Boom Clap”, which has already made its run. She can continue to be an indie goddess, which she will for some time, but Charli may not be made for the top 40 (and that’s probably just fine by her).
It’s cool that we have a new bad girl in pop music, and one who might really mean it as well. Don’t get me wrong, I giggle everytime Rihanna talks about smoking weed and says “phuck” online as well, but that might not constitute being a true badass. Now, singing about skipping school to be bad might also not sound too too bad these days, but think back to when you were in school--how punk rock was it to skip class? Exactly.
Listen to: “Sucker”, “London Queen”, “Doing It” (which is SO classic Madonna it hurts)